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Salary Transparency Matters

As we work towards an industry standard of fair and transparent pay, AIR believes pay transparency is in the best interest of the audio community. To put this in practice, AIR encourages listings on our opportunity board to include a salary range or expected hourly rate and we absolutely require this information in any job listings that we amplify in our newsletter and social media channels. When an employer doesn’t include this information in a job listing on our opportunity board, the default statement “This employer has chosen to opt-out of payment transparency” is displayed in the compensation section.   

Transparency in listings saves everyone time. As an organization, you have a budget in mind. Sharing that information with applicants is common courtesy. Interviewing someone who can’t or won’t work for what you’re offering wastes your time and theirs. 

In a growing number of states, it’s the law. Washington, New York and Colorado all mandate, or soon will, that employers make compensation details available to applicants. In most cases employers are only required to disclose that information on request, which puts the burden on applicants to ask. Putting that burden on applicants who are trying to make the best impression on a prospective employer isn’t fair to workers. 

Transparency is at the heart of salary equity. Research from PayScale found pay transparency closes the gender pay gap.  A separate study from HEC Paris Business School found largely the same thing: transparency closes the gender pay gap.  A growing handful of folks are taking pay transparency into their own hands, by openly sharing details of their own compensation and encouraging allies to do the same.  

Are there any exceptions? Of course. If you’re posting a call for proposals and don’t have an established rate sheet, yes, you can ask for pitches. Independent contractors are always free to negotiate their own rates, and many prospective clients search for consulting  expertise without an established budget in mind. But if you hold contractors to a set rate card or have established a budget for the salary you can offer, we require you to share those figures. 

Jayo Miko Macasaquit, Chief People Officer at the 19th, shared a great Twitter thread in which  he responds to the arguments he encounters most often from hiring managers who are wary of broadcasting salary expectations. 

If you need more articles to lean on, we recommend the following articles about the importance of salary transparency: 

Published on August 5, 2022 by Amanda Hickman and Lynn Casper.